Snow, Snow, Snow!

The Traverse City area, and the surrounding northern Michigan areas got a whopper of a snowstorm just a few days ago. Yes, it’s March, and we’re all experiencing some serious cabin fever, ready to break out onto the water for some open water fishing. It is still winter, however, and this fact was proven by the massive snow we got this past Friday. 18.5 inches fell at my house on Friday night alone, with several more inches added over the weekend. Power was knocked out to much of the area, as was cable, Internet and phone lines.

I would guess that by snow’s end, we’ll have over two feet of snow total. Having this much snow on the ground is fairly normal, and generally not a huge deal, but things got a bit interesting with so much coming down all at once. This wasn’t the light, fluffy powder snow that’s so great for skiing, no way. This was the heavy kind of snow. The kind that broke one of my shovels and about killed my big snow blower, not to mention my back!

I ramble on about this snow is because it’s going to melt. Naturally. But with this week’s forecast, it’s going to be quite warm, with rain showers expected. In very short order, the mass of snow is doomed to melt into a torrent on the landscape. More importantly for us steelheaders—all of this melt and runoff is heading for a river near you! My worry is that the Manistee River, where I guide for steelhead, is going to be blown out, way above normal water levels.

Only time will tell just how high the water levels will become, and hopefully they’ll stay fishable, despite my doubts. In the spring, rising water levels bring fresh steelhead into the rivers and tributaries throughout the Great Lakes, and I have no doubt that this will be the case with this big snow melt. It may be a few days before the river water levels allow us to fish for our beloved steelhead, and it’s my hope that once we can get back on the water, there will be fresh chrome steelies willing to do battle.

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